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Cold Vengeance (Special Agent Pendergast) Hardcover – August 2, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Special Agent Pendergast
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition edition (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446554987
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446554985
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (468 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,138 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The pace of this entry in the increasingly popular Preston & Child series is more steady than usual, but the authors willingness to take their time ultimately pays dividends in terms of texture. GOOD BOOK GUIDE --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

The thrillers of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child "stand head and shoulders above their rivals" (Publishers Weekly). Preston and Child's Relic and The Cabinet of Curiosities were chosen by readers in a National Public Radio poll as being among the one hundred greatest thrillers ever written, and Relic was made into a number-one box office hit movie. They are coauthors of the famed Pendergast series and their recent novels include Fever Dream, Cold Vengeance, Two Graves, and Gideon's Corpse. Preston's acclaimed nonfiction book, The Monster of Florence, is being made into a movie starring George Clooney. Lincoln Child is a former book editor who has published five novels of his own, including the huge bestseller Deep Storm.
Readers can sign up for The Pendergast File, a monthly "strangely entertaining note" from the authors, at their website, www.PrestonChild.com. The authors welcome visitors to their alarmingly active Facebook page, where they post regularly.

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Customer Reviews

Sloppy plotting and far too many coincidences.
J. P. HIGBED
I look forward to the next installment of the series and will buy it as soon as it is published.
Suzie Q
It is first time I have read a book by these two authors.
paula farley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

226 of 238 people found the following review helpful By Susan Tunis TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child have been writing tales of Special Agent Aloysius X. L. Pendergast since 1995's Relic. And I have been a mostly loyal fan in the years since. But I might as well admit that Pendergast and I engaged in a trial separation these past few years. However, I just read Fever Dream and I remembered why I had stuck with him for more than a decade. You don't just toss a relationship like that away.

And I'm hooked again. Cold Vengeance is book two in the Helen Pendergast Trilogy, in which the special agent is hunting the reason for and the identity of his wife's murderers. It begins just a few weeks after the events of Fever Dream. In brief, the novel is a deliciously drawn out cat and mouse game between Pendergast and the only opponent left standing in the last novel. As this pursuit unfolds, Pendergast comes to realize, "that he truly had not known his beloved wife. Like so many other fallible human beings, he had been blinded by love. He had not even begun to crack the ultimate mystery of her identity."

But he does make progress in that ultimate mystery--with the help of more than a few characters we've met in prior novels. Who was Helen Pendergast, and what was her family connected to? At one point, Pendergast's opponent challenges, "You think your fight's just with me, but you're wrong... The fact is you have no idea, no idea, of what you're dealing with."

By the end of the book, both Pendergast and the reader will have an inkling, but there's much yet to be uncovered. Preston and Child are masterful at building suspense, and the end of this novel will be the start of a torturous wait for the final volume in the trilogy. The book ends on more than one huge cliff-hanger.
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115 of 123 people found the following review helpful By kacunnin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
These days, it seems every novel published is part of a trilogy. Preston & Child's latest novel, COLD VENGENCE, is the second installment in their latest Pendergast trilogy, focusing on the enigmatic FBI agent's attempt to get to the bottom of his wife's supposed death twelve years earlier. In many ways, COLD VENGENCE is more successful than the first book in the series, FEVER DREAM, probably because the plot is smaller and more limited in focus. Most of the novel is concentrated squarely on Pendergast's efforts to discover the truth about his wife, Helen - he follows leads in Scotland, New York City, and various Louisiana locations, while trying to keep a step ahead of Helen's shifty brother, Judson Esterhazy. The opening chapters, in which Pendergast and Esterhazy are hunting in the Scottish quagmires, are extraordinarily gripping and set the stage for the relationship to come between these two men. Pendergast wants to know the truth about Helen; Esterhazy wants desperately to keep that truth secret.

Fans of Preston & Child will find references here to D'Agosta and Hayward (although very briefly - neither play major roles in the novel), a brief mention of Smithback and Nora Kelly (through a three-year-old newspaper article), as well as the reappearance of Corrie Swanson (first seen in STILL LIFE WITH CROWS). Preston & Child often interweave characters from one book to another, creating a well fleshed-out world that is recognizable and theirs alone. It makes for very satisfying reading for those of us who know these writers well.

While I did enjoy reading COLD VENGENCE, I was also disappointed in a few things. First, the novel is pretty much all Pendergast, which can verge a bit on overkill.
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83 of 100 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on August 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The deliciousness of Pendergast has always been his edgy creepiness -- you loved not quite knowing what he was up to as he took you to unexpectedly dark places and left you there. You trusted him because he never disappointed, even though he was always three steps ahead of you. He was a fascinating, bottomless well of a character who could scare and charm the heck out of you in equal measures. Until now. The Pendergast of Cold Vengence is a cut out, a single note, a boringly predictable shadow of his former character. The razor-thin plot progresses mainly because Pendergast makes mistakes -- yes, simple, ordinary mistakes! This is a diluted Pendergast I neither recognize nor enjoy.
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41 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Lotusland Lady on August 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Once upon a time readers, writers, editors, agents all understood the plots of books had a beginning, middle and an end. There would be a story arch, introducing characters and situations, then tension grew and finally there was resolution. Okay, some romance authors write trilogies but even then,though the characters may continue into other books each conclusion had its own resolution.

This rule is now being ignored and everyone seems to know this except the reader who puts down his or her ten bucks and thinks she is actually buying a complete book. I believe the change has been done by authors and publishers cynically in order to increase profits by ensuring continuing sales. To me the most egregious was "Echo in the Bone" by Diane Gabaldon because I trusted that author and respected the series. However I feel almost the same way about Preston and Child and the Agent Pendergast books. Up 'til now each book could stand on its own and the character of Pendergast was so compelling many of us were only too happy to buy and read each book.
However, after just finishing (if I could call it that) Cold Vengeance I am prepared to leave Pendergast to his latest cliff hanger and move on.

For this reason I am giving this book a single star. Otherwise it was not my favourite Pendergast by any means. Perhaps when authors don't have to actually finish a story they are not under the same compulsion to write very well throughout. The book contains a lot of action, a fair amount of violence, virtually none of Pendergast's famous sardonic wit, and the usual characters are seen but never really interact with each other or the story. Rather than building tension Pendergast just covers a lot geography, Scotland, Louisiana, New York, etc. etc.
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